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Sunday, April 29

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

AANS Opening Ceremonies

Moderator(s): Norman Robinson

The 2018 AANS Opening Ceremonies includes a panel discussion on the meeting's theme, Neurosurgery: The Privilege of Service. Invited panelists bring their unique experiences serving in private and public spheres - including those who led New Orleans' recovery following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Invited panelists include:

Bill Cassidy, MD, is a United States Senator for Louisiana. For nearly three decades, Dr. Cassidy has provided care for uninsured and underinsured patients in Louisiana’s charity hospital system, including co-founding the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic, a clinic providing free dental and health care. He also created a private-public partnership to vaccinate 36,000 greater Baton Rouge area children against Hepatitis B at no cost to the schools or parents. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Bill led a group of health care volunteers to convert an abandoned building into an emergency health care facility, providing basic health care to hurricane evacuees.

Tommy Cvitanovich owns and operates Drago’s Seafood Restaurant. Tommy and his family run multiple locations and he is widely regarded as an industry leader and advocate for both the seafood and restaurant industries nationwide. Tommy is most recognized not only for inventing "The Single Best Bite of Food in New Orleans," but also for serving countless free, hot meals to communities most in need following natural disasters. He is currently working with local leaders to revitalize Fat City, the neighborhood that has been home to Drago’s original location for the past 48 years.

Bennet deBoisblanc, MD, is professor of medicine and physiology at Lousiana State University School of Medicine. His research interests include respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pulmonary hypertension. He is principal investigator of the Louisiana Critical Care Clinical Center, which is one of 10 academic centers within the NIH sponsored ARDS clinical trials network (ARDSnet). He also collaborates with investigators in the Department of Physiology on basic science research projects.

Arnie D. Fielkow has an extensive background in government, professional and intercollegiate athletics, and law. In May 2017, Arnie D. Fielkow was named the new Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. Fielkow began his career as a practicing attorney in Chicago and has held positions such as President and CEO of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) and Executive Vice President of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré became known as the “Category 5 General” for his striking leadership style in coordinating military relief efforts in post-hurricane New Orleans. A decorated 37-year army veteran and global authority on leadership and emergency preparedness, Gen. Honoré now shares his no-nonsense approach to getting the job done by showing organizations how to successfully lead and execute a mission. Gen. Honoré expertly connects his over three decades of military leadership to the natural disasters and man-made tragedies dominating global headlines to reveal critical strategies for transforming individuals into leaders and helping organizations and communities effectively prepare, react, rebound and unify.

Norman Robinson has been a part of the journalistic landscape in New Orleans since 1976. He retired in 2014 after 38 years on television. He spent the past 24 years anchoring at NBC and served as the moderator of Hot Seat, which has held politicians and policy makers accountable since Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Robinson has received numerous awards for his investigative work and is Marine Corps veteran.